We are half way through what I would consider the best time to catch trout here in the Amish country. And thanks to a weekend full of steady rains, my early fears of another summer of dangerously low water have, for the time being, been diminished. The Lil Elkhart is running cold and water levels are back to normal. The stream remains a bit stained, but fishing has been outstanding.
We have been seeing more and more fish rising. I have taken a half dozen or so on dry flies this year, which is a good sign! Streamers are still a good choice in the wooded areas, though nymphs still prove to been my most successful flies.
Stanifer and I went out over Memorial Day weekend and tried some new patterns. What a great day of fishing we had. Trying new flies, rigs and techniques, jumping from hole to hole. I also had a chance to fish Miller's Cider Mill for the first time this season and had a nice conversation with owner Sam Miller. Sam is a good example of a landowner who even though he doesn't fish, opens his property up to us for access. I can't tell you how lucky we are to have open access to our streams! If you happen to bump into a landowner while you are fishing or rigging up, please take the time to thank them.
Over the past few weeks, I've dabbled in the world of Tenkara. I will have a full report soon, so stay tuned.
Water: We are still seeing sum 60 degree water on most of the system. Water levels are now at a normal level, stained, but clearing up daily.
Flies: If you want to try dries, I would start with a size 16 - 18 caddis. Brown or Olive. We have seen some sulphur activity, but no drakes to speak of. Don't be afraid to go big with an attracter pattern. My favorite is a size 12 lime Turk's Tarantula. Smaller, dark streamer are working well. Give them some early movement and make sure to swing them clear to the top at the end. It's not a bad idea to let it skate for a second or so before lifting. We have been getting a lot of fish at the end of the swing. Try any green or peacock nymph you have in you box! Fish them deep in the runs and also let them swing to the top. Caddis imitations and princes are a safe bet.
Remember, you can't catch anything if you don't fish, so get out there and fish like it's your job!